Thursday, March 01, 2012

Sketch Reviews (March 1 2012)

If you've read my Twitter or looked at the previous post, you'd know that, on Monday, I resigned from the CBR review team. I'll be reviewing comics for this week and next, but, after that, I'm done. I'll still be writing for Comics Should be Good (though I haven't been doing that lately...), which I didn't even think of as a concern since I've never thought of CBR and CSBG as being the same thing, but I know others do and tend to forget that. There's no hidden reason for my leaving CBR, no backstage drama, just the simple fact that I don't enjoy doing it as much anymore and think it's time to stop. I had been planning to leave sometime this year and, this weekend, it became clear that now was the time to go. It's nothing to do with Augie leaving or anything, aside from him leaving makes this a 'better' time to do something I was planning to do at some point in the coming months. I may say some words on the gig when I'm done. For now, I just want to say thanks for the well wishes and that it was a pretty awesome way to spend three years and four months. Onto the comics I bought, but am not reviewing for CBR this week...

Avengers #23 and New Avengers #22: I didn't get a chance to say this two weeks ago, because I reviewed both the previous issues of both of these titles, but, goddamn, Marvel fucked up this double-shipping schedule. The two titles are in a semi-crossover right now, both telling of Norman Osborn and HAMMER's attempt to bring down the Avengers and take their place, and it seems like Marvel would have been much better off scheduling the books to alternate weeks so we get a weekly story. That would have made more sense than shipping new issues of both titles on the same week. What's sad is that I'm enjoying this story and the way that it's been constructed. It's one big story, but each title tells a different part of the story -- you legitimately COULD read just one of these titles and not be lost, because Bendis gave each team its own specific focus. It's a clever way to structure a crossover like this. Putting the two issues out together highlights that a little more, I guess. Surprisingly, I've been enjoying the New Avengers plot a little more -- the attempt at a media attack, whatever is going on with Jessica, the fight in issue 21... and, then, here, a couple of surprise reveals that could work out well. Avengers suffered last issue from that 'heroes are captured and nothing happens' problem in stories like this, but this issue makes a nice recovery. Basically, Bendis reminds us why Quake is not to be messed with, and Norman Osborn gets to piss me off more. I may be a sucker, but I always get a little angry at stories where heroes are made to look like bad guys because everyone is too damn stupid to see through bullshit. [***3/4]

Batman: Odyssey vol. 2 #5: I didn't like the gnomes. [***]

Moon Knight #10: So... Echo is dead. And this issue is just crazy. I have no idea where this series is going as it heads to its conclusion, but I am going to miss it. It took a little bit to win me over... now, it's one of my favourite monthlies. It's made me like Moon Knight (or, enjoy reading about him)... weird. [***3/4]

Scalped #56: Red Crow is the one character I'll miss when this series ends. He's so complex and simple at the same time. I can never figure him out despite everything he does making perfect sense. The way he keeps flashing back to all of the horrible, criminal things Dash has done over the course of the series before refusing to use any of them against Dash during his murder trial... all because Dash is on the rez and helping to make it a better place. That's all Red Crow wants. He may have lost his way and confused his personal ambition with the needs of the community at times, but he's proven that he's more than willing to sacrifice himself if he thinks it will be good for the rez. And that end... wonderful. I don't know exactly what the next four issues will do, but I'm looking forward to them quite a bit. [****1/4]

The Unwritten #34.5: I like the concept of this issue, but found the execution never quite got where it needed to. Part of it is that Wilson never stood out visually, part of it is that I can't stand journal entry lettering like this, part of it is that there wasn't much to this story besides Wilson figuring out how stories can alter the world... it's like a four-page sequence spread out to an entire issue. [**3/4]